A handful of Holiday Station stores applied for permits this week to install high-speed EV chargers at locations around the metro, including in Washington County, where a dearth of such chargers give electric-car drivers few options for quickly filling up.
The permits, filed with the state Department of Labor and Industry, show that Circle K, the Canadian owner of Holiday, plans to install two chargers apiece at 10 locations, most of them along major highways. The chargers would have CCS 2 connections, a type used by cars such as BMW, Jaguar, Chevrolet and Kia, but not Teslas sold in North America.
The company had no comment Thursday on the permits or construction timelines, but if the sites include the Holiday at 215 Manning Av. N. in West Lakeland, it would make it just the third location in Washington County with high-speed charging.
The county has few public chargers of any speed, with just two locations offering high-speed charging: a bank of Electrify America chargers at the Woodbury Walmart and eight Tesla Superchargers at the Oakdale Hy-Vee.
Washington County Planning Director Lyssa Leitner said the county just applied for a $500,000 grant, with a $100,000 local matching requirement, to build a network of 30 Level-2 chargers throughout the county. If the grant is awarded, the chargers would go in some of the county's rural areas in parks and transit centers to give EV drivers more options for local charging, she said.
The application to the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program faces stiff competition, including from the state of Minnesota, and there's no guarantee the county will be awarded any support, Leitner said. A decision on the grant isn't expected for months, and it would take more time to plan and build the stations after that.
At an April workshop meeting of the County Board, the county opted to do a feasibility study on EV charging, Leitner added. If the county doesn't win the NEVI grant, it will pursue a phased-in approach of adding chargers where and when it can. The feasibility study should begin within a couple of months, Leitner said.
For now, talk of private businesses pushing ahead with more high-speed charging was met with enthusiastic support among followers of the MN EV Owners Facebook page, where the Circle K/Holiday permits were first mentioned by user Mike Doyle. The Holiday stores include several around the metro area, plus locations in Mankato, Brainerd and Alexandria.
The state had some 34,000 registered electric vehicles as of January, according to the state Public Utilities Commission.